Kwa Chong Seng takes over from Chew Choon Seng as new SGX chairman from Sept 22

Mr Kwa Chong Seng (left) will be taking over as SGX chairman from Mr Chew Choon Seng.
Mr Kwa Chong Seng (left) will be taking over as SGX chairman from Mr Chew Choon Seng.PHOTOS: THE BUSINESS TIMES/SGX

SINGAPORE - Corporate heavyweight Kwa Chong Seng has been appointed as the new Singapore Exchange chairman, taking over from Mr Chew Choon Seng.

Mr Chew, 70, will retire after the SGX's annual general meeting on September 22 after having spent 12 years on the board, including the past five as chairman.

"The exchange is an important component of Singapore's financial system," he said.

"It has been an honour to be of service and I am thankful for the support and cooperation of my fellow Board members and all the people, inside and outside the organisation, whom I have worked with."

Mr Kwa's, 69, appointment as SGX chairman caps an illustrious career that has seen him helm several big corporations over more than four decades.

The engineering graduate rose through the ranks at oil major ExxonMobil Asia Pacific to become its chairman and managing director.

He was then appointed to the boards of several companies and organisations, including Neptune Orient Lines, Singapore Technologies and the Defence Science and Technology Agency.

He remains chairman of listed Singapore Technologies Engineering and is the deputy chairman of the Public Service Commission.

"I am honoured to have this opportunity to contribute. Filling Mr Chew's big shoes will be difficult as SGX has many stakeholders who all want SGX to succeed. I will do my best to serve these important stakeholders," said Mr Kwa, who joined the SGX as a board member in 2012.

Mr Kwa added that he will step down as Olam's chairman to make time for his new role.

His Olam resignation will be effective on December 31, giving time for the commodities firm to find a new chairman.

Olam co-founder chief executive Sunny Verghese said Mr Kwa's tenure as chairman had a significant impact on the firm's strategy and business.